FOXBORO, Mass. — Not much can keep Stevan Ridley off the football field.
Ridley, who’s entering his second season as the Patriots’ primary running back, was on the field for all 16 of the Patriots’ games in 2012, and don’t plan on him missing much time this season either.
“For me, if I’m on the field, I’m playing ball. I hate coming off. Unless it’s major, unless I have a leg that’s hanging off, I’m gonna be out there. That’s just kind of my style and how I do it. That’s not taking anything from the other guys. They’d like to be out there, too.”
Ridley ran for 1,200 yards in 2012, making him just the third Patriots tailback in a decade to run for over 1,000 yards in a season — Corey Dillon, 2004 and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, 2010. That effort has raised expectations for him entering 2013 and, with a still developing passing game, he may be leaned on even more heavily this season. But the 24-year-old isn’t letting the pressure faze him.
“[Tom] Brady‘s job at quarterback is to handle the passing game, us as running backs have to do it on the ground,” Ridley said. “More pressure? Yeah, there are some new faces out here, but for us, we just have to continue to do what we’re doing. We can’t buy into the hype or what people are saying, we just have to go develop as a team.”
The offense has looked good on the whole during camp thus far, and, aside from a few fumbles on the first day of padded practices, Ridley has been one of the unsung stars.